Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Any of this sound familiar?

Has it been 30 years already?

In 1985 it was recommended that the PLCB implement a paperless licensee image filing system, in 1992 the PLCB said it was in the process of doing so. In 2014, 30 years later, the process isn't finished yet: every store has paper files for the licensees that regularly use them.

In 1985 the PLCB was tasked with developing alternative pricing strategies that fit within the liquor code. This was done but never implemented, and here we are in 2014 hearing that as part of "modernization," they want to develop alternate pricing strategies.

Again in 1985 the PLCB was told to "Improve marketing of PLCB products by responding to customer demand and properly handling wine and spirits." In 1992 the PLCB said that "Store customers were surveyed and customer service training for store personnel has been enhanced." I'm not sure I believe that.

This one is too funny to be anything but true coming from the PLCB.  In 1985 they were asked to "Establish accepted business practices for commercial licensees e.g. credit privileges and product delivery." Now they did eventually let licensees pay with credit cards, but said "The delivery option was tested but not implemented due to lack of interest." They must mean the PLCB's lack of interest since you won't find a bar or restaurant that doesn't want liquor delivery.

You might have thought that TableLeaf and the others were new ideas thought up, as Joe Conti lied about, because there was a glut of California wine. But in the late 80's the PLCB established a wine advisory panel to help with its private label wine program.

After it was recommended that the PLCB "Eliminate the requirement that permanent part-time employees be certified by the Civil Sevice Commission," the PLCB said they were working to improve the process. 30 years later, they are still working on it.

If anybody tells you what a great job our state system does just remind them that: The PLCB -- through the spun-off enforcement arm called the BLCE (Bureau of Liquor Code Enforcement) -- isn't doing their job. Between 1989 and 1992 there were 300 arrests for bringing in untaxed liquor from out of state. Last year there were two and this year just one so far out of literally millions if not 10's of millions of violations.

All of the above was taken from the May 1992 Legislative Budget and Finance Committee performance audit of the 1985 Audit recommendations. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Seriously? This is the agency that wants us to believe that this time they really really are going to do what they said they would. Just trust them this time.

I got a better idea: privatize.


Geno Washington said...

Why does the PLCB have wholesale stores but only about five? For the number of bars in the state, five is way too few.

But I also am wondering: what would make a wholesale customer buy from a regular PLCB store? I personally have seen bar owners buying huge quantities of alcohol at normal PLCB stores twice, once in Philadelphia and once in Norristown.

Albert Brooks said...

There is no price difference between the few licensee only stores and the regular stores. Some licensees drive a good distance to get to an outlet store since they have some brands in liter size at a good price. Just another way the PLCB screws small businesses that can't make the trip to an outlet store. The PLCB won't ship or allow a business to order liters to a non-outlet store.

Anonymous said...

More wholesale stores may pop up as privatization fades away. Rumor is they finally approved a lease for a new one in Washington county.

Albert Brooks said...

More wholesale stores do nothing for the average citizen since they aren't allowed to shop there. Now more outlet stores would benefit both citizens and businesses.

Geno Washington said...

What's the point of a licensee only store if the prices are the same as other state stores? I gather there must be SOMETHING.

Albert Brooks said...

Well......think about whom you are talking about and take it from there.